same but different steering - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 24 Old 05-14-2021, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
wrightd
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same but different steering

Long time no visit due to, too many irons in the fire, and this is NOT my daily driver, so until riding as a passenger while my son driving last night, I realized, I had become accustomed to my steering issue, it REALLY had NOT been resolved. While this post will seem similar due to it pertaining to the front end and steering issue, but I honestly think that I have done EVERYTHING, that can be done, and I have made SOME improvement but NOT a complete resolution. This post represents defeat on my part. Allow me to describe, my jeep is 1997 TJ, when purchased, it was in POOR shape, it had been lifted 4 inches, and had 33x12.50 on it, it has 4.0 straight 6 standard shift.
My problem is "PLAY" in the steering wheel, which causes you to constantly correct the steering, because it would seem as though when you make an adjustment in direction with steering wheel, it will go in THAT direction like its supposed to, so if you feel it drifting to the right or left and you correct, it will continue in that direction until its corrected again, but there feels like PLAY in the steering wheel. I think this steering issue is impacted by the CROWN or slope of the road, because sometimes you have to make minimal adjustments if any. There is no shake or shimmy or wobble in the steering wheel at any speed, and I will get up to 70 or 75mph on interstate.

Things I have replaced or checked to correct.
New steering box, purchased from Autozone
New Shocks all the way around (rancho)
New steering stabilizer (dual shaft)
Adjustable lower control arms, purchased from ebay (adjusted to -5 ~ -7) caster
replaced lower steering shaft (the section that attaches to steering box)
replaced upper steering shaft (the part that attaches to top of lower steering shaft, and lower portion of steering wheel)
I have jacked front end up to check for PLAY in ball joints, and did not detect any.
I have checked camber (red neck style), as best I can tell it has NONE
Toe in, checked (red neck style) within 1/8" as best I can tell
I have jacked front end up and placed on jack stands and placed a long strip of tape on the floor directly beneath steering arm at gear box, then hung a "plum bob" from steering box arm, and when wheels were straight, I marked with tape the center mark on tape, then while my son was turning steering wheel, it seemed as though there was NO delay between, the turning of steering wheel, and movement of steering arm.
I have jacked up front end, and tack welded a piece of rebar to the steering arm and frame of vehicle, to see if any play in steering wheel. The logic being, this would check from steering wheel through steering shafts, through internals of steering box too steering box arm, and could not detect any slack or play.
ALL my front/rear, top/bottom control arm bushings have been replaced and/or confirmed good.
My front and rear tires wear pattern are as even as a brand new vehicle
Air pressure in tires ~26 psi
I will say, if you look at the jeep setting on flat pavement, it would seem as though the rear of jeep sets lower than the front, probably as a result of the lift, but do not know. I don't know how the lift was achieved, so I have installed some of those twist in coil spring height adjusting blocks to try to bring it up, but I don't know if that would have a positive or negative impact on this issue, I have included picture of jeep to indicate additude of jeep, but please remember this is with the coil spring spacer blocks in the rear.
I have NOT had a diagnostic front end alignment, because short of this issue, you REALLY could not ask for a better steering, meaning no "death wobble", no shake or shimmy at ANY speed, and EVEN tire wear. Any help, critique, advice, etc... would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 24 Old 05-14-2021, 08:24 AM
Mattific
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Is your steering linkage factory? Do you have a drop pitman arm? That dual steering stabilizer set up isnít going to be doing you any favors, should only be using one
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post #3 of 24 Old 05-14-2021, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply, when you say steering linkage, I am not sure what you mean. The lower and mid steering shaft are not, the steering box is not. The ball joints, and linkage rods under the jeep, I assume they are, I haven't replaced them as they check out GOOD, as best I can tell. I have NOT seen a positive or negative impact on steering stabilizer, I originally installed a single steering stabilizer (rancho) , then recently installed dual as I thought it would help, but no change. The drop down pitman arm, I have not replaced it and have NOT given it any consideration, I don't know if the one that's on it is drop down or not. Could that affect the dynamics of steering setup? That is ONE thing, I have NOT replaced.
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post #4 of 24 Old 05-14-2021, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
wrightd
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my pitman arm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattific View Post
Is your steering linkage factory? Do you have a drop pitman arm? That dual steering stabilizer set up isnít going to be doing you any favors, should only be using one

Please see attached, it seems to be "drop down" pitman arm.
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post #5 of 24 Old 05-14-2021, 10:44 AM
Ironhead
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yep, thats a drop pitman arm which will cause bump steer in most scenarios.

x2 on going back to a single steering stabilizer. a dual stabilizer does nothing more than put additional stress on your steering pump
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post #6 of 24 Old 05-14-2021, 10:56 AM
zackcj7
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Do you still have the factory pitman arm? If so you should consider putting it back on.

The angle of the drag link in relation to the front track bar is very important. They should be as close to parallel as possible. Your drop pitman arm has most likely thrown that angle off.
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post #7 of 24 Old 05-14-2021, 08:29 PM
Mousejockey
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Hows the rear track bar look?
Is there a relocation bracket?
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post #8 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 04:17 AM
TheBoogieman
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Put a stock pitman arm back on it and align the front end yourself (redneck style works best). All will be well again. I bought a Jeep with the same set-up and I couldn't even keep it in my lane when driving. $25 and an hour later, it drove perfectly.

p.s. Ditch the dual stabilizer too. It's fighting with the PS pump.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
2003' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift with Rancho RS5000X shocks/ Zone hydro shocks/5.13 gears/35" Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 tires/Black Magic brakes. Jeep #17 & 19.
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post #9 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 07:39 AM
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not a tj but geometry is generally same tj/jk. generally when a kit adds a drop pit they will move the track bars mount, keep things parallel . drop pit add stress to the box as well. I have no idea if the tj has say the axle mount at the TB up from stock? if the kit just dropped the drag it will have bump steer. But unless the front end is moving up and down enough you wont feel that on say a straight level road. It wont make it wander. bump steer pulls hard when the axle cycles up or down.

If it has say a bracket bolted to the stock point of TB axle mount that would be removed with the DP. then its stock. people do this to Jks its not a good idea at all with those. Like they say there is a better way to skin that cat and very good results over stock. easy to flatten the TB and drag roll center by 3" never touch the pit arm on a jk. I have always wondered why the Tjs used the inverted Y and not separate links, must be a geometry issue?

could be the steering box still what brand? rebuilt tend to be rather bad. Not worth bothering with to me last one i got PSC pit arm on that is huge and stock in shape just the sector shaft is way larger.

. PSI on those 33s should be like 25psi. My jk might be 600 pounds heavier and i dont use more then 27 front and 26 rear street.

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post #10 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
wrightd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
yep, thats a drop pitman arm which will cause bump steer in most scenarios.

x2 on going back to a single steering stabilizer. a dual stabilizer does nothing more than put additional stress on your steering pump
I have had 1 or 2 times where the steering kind of bind up, then was fine, I thought that may have been Autozone steering box that I put on it, but it literally was 1 or 2 times and no more, that has been 1 year ago. But now with the explanation of bump steer, that is what that must have been, do not know why it does not do it more, or consistently.
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post #11 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
wrightd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackcj7 View Post
Do you still have the factory pitman arm? If so you should consider putting it back on.

The angle of the drag link in relation to the front track bar is very important. They should be as close to parallel as possible. Your drop pitman arm has most likely thrown that angle off.
Please see attached photo, I never had the original pitman arm, but I could purchase one if it is advisable. If I understand correctly, my drag link IS quite a bit lower than the curved portion front track bar, but seems to be parallel to the straight portion of front track bar. The factory pitman arm would bring the drag link upward towards the apex of the front track bar, is this where I should be with my drag link?
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post #12 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousejockey View Post
Hows the rear track bar look?
Is there a relocation bracket?
I will look today and provide photo.
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post #13 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
wrightd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
Put a stock pitman arm back on it and align the front end yourself (redneck style works best). All will be well again. I bought a Jeep with the same set-up and I couldn't even keep it in my lane when driving. $25 and an hour later, it drove perfectly.

p.s. Ditch the dual stabilizer too. It's fighting with the PS pump.
Please see photo of front end below. This gives me hope, I do not mind spending money on this jeep, my wife can verify this. ha-ha Since there has been multiple mention of a drop down arm verses the original causing the angle of the drag link in relation to front traction bar, I wont feel right about it unless I replace it with an original pitman arm, from your explanation, it will either fix my issue or eliminate it as a contributing factor, either way it gives me some direction. Does the picture look similar to your original configuration?
I will maintain, my dual stabilizer, ONLY in an effort to maintain my current configuration and so I am not changing so many things, I don't know what resolved my issue. But based on your explanation my intention is to put single stabilizer on after this PLAY issue is resolved, unless you think it is a contributing factor as well? Please advise.
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post #14 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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You know after thinking about it, like i said in my original post, I thought, my effort to correct steering issue had improved it to some degree, but when I was passenger, verses driving, I could see, I had NOT made ANY difference, I think I had become accustomed or de-sensitized to the steering issue over time. I had NOT replaced my pitman arm since I had it, so it would not have improved, which further validates this forums recommendations for original pitman arm. I will replace it and provide photos and update status of quality of steering afterwards.
I think this jeep had SO MANY issues when I bought it, that affected suspension, I thought suspension and steering was good, I sure hope an original pitman arm resolves my issue, this has almost beat me, but I have got this jeep almost as solid as any jeep I have had in the past, I love this jeep. If this does resolve this issue, it would serve as a repair/what to do or NOT to do during troubleshooting and repairing steering issue for future jeep owners, I offer my sincere gratitude and will advise status.
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post #15 of 24 Old 05-15-2021, 06:42 PM
Mousejockey
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With the lift the track bar will either need to be lengthened or relocated. One common practice is to drill another hole on the axle end 1" or 1 1/2" tward the drivers side. I forget which but someone will chime in and check to see if it has already been done
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